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Plastic: A global water crisis

By
Nicole White
June 8, 2018
9 min read
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This week we celebrated both World Environment Day and World Ocean Day. The most urgent problem facing our planet was heavily in focus: global plastic pollution. Here’s a look at a few things people were talking about in the market.

A whale of a plastic problem

A pilot whale was found in a canal in southern Thailand last week, and died after ingesting plastic bags. Pilot whales normally eat squid, though they’re also known to munch on jellyfish – which is probably why this guy went after the bags.

Read the whole story on Quartz.

What this means for you: Stop with the single-use plastic already. Full stop. No bags, no straws, no stirrers, no to-go cups, no water bottles. Items like these account for a full 40% of plastic waste. It never goes away, stop adding to the problem.

There are no ocean trash deniers

Imagine five plastic grocery bags stuffed with plastic trash, sitting on every foot of coastline around the world — that would correspond to about 8.8 million tons, a middle-of-the-road estimate of what the ocean gets from us annually.

Read all the details at National Geographic.

What this means for you: You need to take action. Ocean plastic is not as complicated as climate change. There are no ocean trash deniers, at least so far. To do something about it, we don’t have to remake our planet’s entire energy system. We know how to pick up garbage. Anyone can do it. We know how to dispose of it. We know how to recycle.

Mussels weakened by plastic bits

Shellfish are the natural filter systems of our seas, little wiggly mechanisms of purification. So, it makes sense that a report released on World Oceans Day showed mussels bought from UK supermarkets were infested with microplastic. According to the study, 70 particles of microplastic were found in every 100 grams of mussels.

Read the full study on itv.

What this means for you: You guessed it, stop using plastics. Our overwhelming consumption and greed for newer, cheaper, faster products have created a plastic monster. More often than not, what we use up ends up in the water and washed back to us. The cycle will never end, it needs to be broken.

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